Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Runner takes up a new year challenge

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Mike Tennent ran 2015 miles in 2015, now planning to do 2016 in 2016. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Mike Tennent ran 2015 miles in 2015, now planning to do 2016 in 2016. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

When Mike Tennent decided to take up the challenge to run 2015 in 2015 it didn't seem too bad - until he realised it was 2015 miles not 2015 kilometres as he'd first thought.

He took up the Strava challenge as a way to push his running further, and for a bit of fun.

"I looked at it and my brain thought 2015km. When I looked at it properly and it was miles, that's a bit longer."

The 56-year-old, who has been running for about 10 years, said the challenge was one that suited him well as it didn't require him to run every day - instead he just had to notch up the required amount of just over 3242km over the course of the year.

While he had to overcome a bout of food poisoning which left him sick for a week, and had another week off recovering from a nasty fall, Mr Tennent finished the goal with a few days to spare by running the Tongariro Crossing twice.

Mr Tennent, whose previous best year of running was about 2040km, said the challenge had seen some unexpected benefits.

"I'm 56 years of age, I've been running for coming up 10 years and I managed to take over three minutes off by best time for a half marathon and over 14 minutes off my personal best for a marathon. I did about 18 or 19 events over the year and the eight or nine that I had done before, I beat my time in every single one.

"It really comes down to just doing more ks."

Mr Tennent said he first got into running in his mid-40s in a bid to speed up some weight loss to get off a diet quicker.

He said both his father and uncle had died in their 50s so he knew he needed to do something about his lifestyle.

Mr Tennet said while he ran road events, his love was trail running.

"I probably would have given up if I hadn't have discovered trail running."

Now that he has completed the 2015 goal he plans to take it a step further, this time running 2016 miles in 2016 in this year's Strava challenge.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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